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Articles Tagged "moving with pets"

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September
13

Happy Cat Month: How to Make Your Home Cat-Friendly

Home Improvement for PetsWhether you have one beloved cat or a full house with multiple cats, you want to provide a comfortable, safe, cat-friendly home environment.

September is National Happy Cat Month. Yes, there really is a recognized month when cat lovers celebrate their feline friends. Happy Cat Month is an annual event held in September that serves to inform and educate cat owners about creating a cat-friendly home. At Old Dominion Realty, our real estate agents take pride in supporting the well-being of our furry felines. Take a look at ways you can create a cat-friendly home.

Cat in Home

Create an Outdoor View

Although your cat may be an indoor-only feline, they will welcome an outdoor view of trees, plants, flowers, and outdoor critters. Cats are curious creatures, and they need stimulation to stay happy. If you're looking for properties in Virginia, many homes have spectacular outdoor views that will keep your cat mesmerize your cat for hours.

Keep Your Cat Active

Keeping your cat active will provide exercise and mental stimulation. Cats love to play, so they love cat toys with playful interaction. You don't need to buy expensive toys since cats like unwinding balls of string, attacking shadows on the floor, jumping up to catch a feather, and chasing toy mice. Taking time to play with your cat shows affection, creates strong bonds and promotes healthy activity.

Tabby Cat

Create Vertical Spaces

One of the best ways to create a cat-friendly home is by providing vertical spaces where your cat can climb. This is especially important in multiple-cat households where cats need their own private space. Cats love to climb and perch themselves high above the floor where they feel safe. If Broadway homes for sale have high ceilings, you can use tall cat trees with multiple levels, as well as cat shelves that can be attached to walls and windows.

Indoor Cat

Provide a Cozy Bed

Cats spend a lot of time sleeping, so they need a cozy bed where they feel safe. Some cats like to rest and relax in different spots in the house, so you can use soft quilts, blankets, and large throw pillows to create cozy places to relax in different rooms. For cats who like to hide, soft baskets and decorative containers are cozy options for Dayton homes for sale with large rooms and open floor plans. 

Buy a Scratching Post

Cats scratch to file their claws and mark their territory. If you don't buy a scratching post, you're likely to find scratches on your walls, cabinets, furniture, and upholstery. Scratching posts should be as tall as possible to allow your cat to scratch vertically at a full stretch. If you build a floor-to-ceiling scratching post in an area where your cat likes to scratch, your cat will love you, and your furniture will last a lot longer.

Indoor Cats

Buy a Quality Food Bowl

Cats look forward to eating their food. As creatures of habit, they prefer regular daily feeding schedules, food placed in particular bowls, and meals served in certain places. Cats are picky about their food. It's best to buy a food bowl made of glass, ceramic, or stainless steel so you can wash it. Avoid bowls made of plastic that can give off chemical odors because your cat will turn up his nose. An elevated food bowl will keep your cat's whiskers cleaner and out of the food.

Provide Fresh, Clean Water

Water is essential to your cat's health, so make sure they always have fresh, clean water. Most cats like their water bowl near their food, but some cats prefer water in separate locations. Cats are natural hunters, so finding a water bowl in a different room rewards their hunting instincts. Cats prefer water bowls that are filled to the brim so they can drink without putting their heads down. Pet drinking fountains encourage drinking while creating a playful experience.

Pay Attention to the Litter Box

If you have a cat, you need a litter box. Cats instinctively know how to use a litter box, even if they have never stepped into one. Make sure your cat's litter box is big enough for your cat to easily move around. If you have two cats, get three litter boxes. As a cat owner, you owe it to your cat and yourself to clean out litter boxes every day and refill them with clean, fresh litter. Dirty litter boxes can quickly create unhealthy, stinky odors in your home. 

Ready to find a new home for you and your cats? For information on Virginia homes for sale, contact us for available listings and prices in different neighborhoods. 

January
4

7 Tips to Keep Your Pets Safe This Winter

Pet Friendly Tips

Cold winter weather can be hard on us humans, but it's not easy on our four-legged friends either! Our real estate agents want to make sure your pets stay safe this season, so be sure to take these safety tips into account if you're out there looking at Rockingham County homes for sale!

  1. Keep your house humidified.
    You're probably very familiar with the effects of dry winter air on your own skin. Pets suffer in much the same way, so it's best to run a humidifier for both your sakes! Dry, flaky skin can also be exacerbated by coming in and out of the cold, so dry your pets off quickly any time you come inside (especially their feet). 

    Dog Outside

  2. Stay inside when it's too cold.
    It's easy to assume that just because pets have fur, they're impervious to the cold. That's actually not the case, and while fur does provide some protection—how much depends on the breed—dogs and cats are susceptible to the cold in the same ways we are. They can get hypothermia and frostbite when it's bitterly cold, so it's best to stay inside as much as possible during cold weather, keeping outdoor potty breaks as brief as possible. Plus, keep a towel near the door to wipe off their paws, legs, and belly after being outside in winter. This isn't just to keep them from bringing snow and ice inside. It's to get rid of any chemicals they might have picked up, like antifreeze and de-icers, which can be toxic.

  3. Dial back the grooming.
    Don't shave your pet down to their shortest hair length in winter. A little extra fluff will help them stay warm. If you have a long-haired breed, you can trim it a little shorter (just enough so that their fur doesn't drag on the snow and pick up ice balls). Also, cut back on your pet's bathing schedule. Frequent bathing removes essential oils from the skin, which leaves cats vulnerable to dry, flaky skin. It's best to bathe your pet less often in winter and ask your vet to recommend a moisturizing shampoo. 

  4. Watch out for spills.
    While antifreeze is toxic to dogs, it has a sweet taste that may tempt them to lick it up off the ground. Do your best to avoid spills in your own yard and driveway, and don't let your pooch lick the ground in areas where there may be chemicals mixed in with the snow. 

  5. Give them a warm bed.
    Your dog or cat bed doesn't have to be fancy, but a warm blanket and/or a bed appropriate to their size will help them stay warm on chilly nights. It's especially important to give your pet a place to sleep if you have wood or tile floors. While you're at the pet supply store. Consider buying a sweater for your dog, especially if they have short fur. Not all pets take kindly to wearing "clothes," so use your best judgment! That being said, most dogs—especially shorter-haired breeds—can benefit from a doggie jacket or sweater when they go outside. And booties can help protect their paws from harsh salt and chemicals. 

  6. Use pet-safe de-icers.
    Contrary to what some product marketing may suggest, no ice melting product is perfect for dogs. Your pet should never be allowed to eat or lick up rock salt or other de-icer products off the ground. But some products are less harmful than others. De-icers made of magnesium chloride are a bit easier on pets' paws than regular rock salt. 

    Cat Outside

  7. Feed them a little more.
    Pets may burn more energy in winter than they do in the summer, especially if they're spending time outdoors and their bodies are trying to stay warm. It's okay to give them a little more food than you normally would and the occasional extra (healthy) treat. And as always, make sure they have plenty of water! 

At Old Dominion Realty, we're committed to finding the perfect home for every pet... and their humans too. Contact us today to learn more about how to find pet-friendly Harrisonburg homes for sale!

February
11

7 Tips for Moving with a Pet

Celebrate National Love Your Pet Day

Moving with Your Pet

Our real estate agents adore their pets and are excited to show them some extra affection this February 20 on National Love Your Pet Day. On this day, we celebrate the joy our pets bring into our lives and recognize the responsibility we have for keeping them comfortable, safe, and secure. 

When you're planning a move, it's more important than ever to pay special attention to your furry (or feathered) friends. Pets are experts at reading our body language, so if we're feeling stressed and anxious, they'll feel it too. Since they won't understand what's going on, the sense of upheaval they feel can be even more dramatic.

Luckily, pets are also very adaptable. For them, "home" is wherever they are with you, not necessarily the four walls where you currently live. Planning and taking a few simple precautions will help keep the move easier on everyone.

  1. Safety First
    Before your move, make sure your pet has a good collar with an ID tag attached. The tag should list your name and current cell phone number. Microchipping your pet will serve as another level of protection in case the collar slips off.  Hopefully, your pet will never get out of your sight, but if the unthinkable happens, you want to know you've done everything you can to ensure you'll be quickly reunited.
  1. Stick to Your Routine
    Although you'll be busy packing and preparing for your move, do your best not to change your pet's routine. Try to make sure you feed and walk him at the same time that every day.  If you usually play for 15 minutes when you get home from work, don't skip it just because you have packing to do. Maintaining structure helps your pet know what to expect, even when everything else feels like chaos. 
  1. Visit Your Vet
    A couple of weeks before your move, pay a visit to your vet. Ensure your pet is up-to-date on all necessary vaccinations and doesn't have any significant health issues. Staying ahead of potential problems is far better than scrambling to find a new vet as soon as you move. If you're worried about your pet suffering from car sickness or extreme anxiety, ask your vet for prescription medications while you're there.
  1. Secure Your Pet on Moving Day
    Moving day activities can be scary for your pet, and the chaos involved creates far too many opportunities for your pet to get lost or injured. Keep him safe by using a crate or arrange for him to stay somewhere else until the move is done.
  1. Make Arrangements for Long-Distance Moves
    If you're traveling a long distance, find pet-friendly hotels along your route and make your reservations ahead of time. Plan plenty of stops for water and potty breaks and try to keep a consistent feeding schedule.  Keep small animals secured in a crate the entire time you're traveling, and always keep larger dogs on a leash. Remember that the stress of a move can cause even the most well-behaved pets to run away or behave uncharacteristically.
  1. Create a Familiar Environment
    Although you might feel compelled to clean everything when you move into your new home, resist the urge to wash your pet's things. Having some familiar smells can help ease the transition.  Arrange your pet's bed, dishes, and toys as close as possible to the way they were in your old home, and keep your routine as consistent.
  1. Practice Patience and Compassion
    Above all, remember that there's a good chance the move will cause your pet to act out of character. It's not unusual to notice excessive whining, barking, or pacing. 

Are You Ready to Make Your Move?

Whether you're thinking about moving across town or across the globe, our real estate agents at Old Dominion Realty are here to help. Contact us to get started with the search for your dream home.

August
1

Moving With Pets

Making the Family Pooch Feel Right at Home

Moving to a new home can be hard for anyone, but it is especially challenging when you are moving with pets. Pets can get excited easily and may be put in physical and mental danger during the course of the move. To help you and your animal friend move to a new home as smoothly as possible, follow these helpful tips:

 

Moving with the family pets 

Catch Up On Your Pet's Shots And Medicines

Ideally when moving with pets you will be able to form a relationship with a veterinarian in your new town before you move. However, if you are moving quickly or have many other things to consider during the move you might not have time. Whether you have pet care arranged in your new town or not, it is a good idea to make sure your animal is current on their vaccinations and has all the medicine that they need, in case extenuating circumstances prevent you from getting veterinary care right away.

 

Make Travel Arrangements For Your Pet

If you are going to be driving a long distance with your pet, make sure that you have a suitable way to transport your pet. Even if you do not need a pet carrier for your animal, you should still make sure that it is safe in the vehicle. Dogs in particular should be restrained while in a vehicle with a harness or a small gate. You should also have all necessary papers for your pets, in case you are stopped and questioned by a law enforcement officer.

 

Acclimate Your Pet To Your New Home

Moving with pets can be challenging for animals that are very used to the place that they live. To help your pet become more familiar with your new home, try to keep some of their same toys and dishes around. Before you let your new pet run free, be sure to inspect the new home for anything that might pose a danger to your pet.


Moving with pets is not always easy, but there are things you can do to ease the difficulty. This advice will help both you and your furry friend get situated in your new place. If you are in search of a new house that would be perfect for you and your pet, reach out to your local real estate agents at Old Dominion Realty for assistance.

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